Sunday, June 22, 2008
Quick Green Living Tips for the Home
photo by Tricia Chatterton
I live in NYC. And I live in an old building. This means that about 5 seconds after I've cleaned my apt oh-so-thoroughly, a new layer of unknown dark substance begins its descent upon my furniture. I like clean. It makes me happy, so the wipedown happens often...and because Clorox and Windex are so very toxic, I've begun cleaning with "green" products like baking soda, vinegar, and my very favorite: lemon juice. Smells good, tastes good, and can do just about everything.
Pouring lemon juice around areas that ants frequent is said to repel them.
An equal amount of lemon juice and water added to an atomizer will create a wonderful synthetic chemical-free green air freshener for your home.
All purpose cleaner
Again, an equal amount of lemon juice and water added to a spray bottle is an effective kitchen and bathroom cleaner and can also be used on walls (spot test first).
A small amount of lemon juice can also be added to vinegar based cleaning solutions to help neutralize the smell of the vinegar.
Heat a bowl of water and lemon slices in your microwave for 30 seconds to a minute; then wipe out the oven. Stains will be easier to remove and old food odors neutralized.
Half a lemon stored in your fridge will help control and eliminate unpleasant smells.
Rub a lemon juice and baking soda paste onto chrome or copper, rinse and then wipe/buff with a soft cloth or paper towel.
Mix 1/2 cup borax and a cup of lemon juice for a powerful toilet cleaner that will leave it smelling extra clean!
Use a half lemon to clean the lime scale off a sink or taps/faucets; rinse well.
For bleaching purposes, add 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle and hang clothes outside to dry.
A teaspoon of lemon juice thrown into your wash can also help your clothes to smell fresher.
A teaspoon of lemon juice added to your dishwashing detergent can help boost grease cutting power
Hot lemon juice and baking soda is a good drain cleaner that is safe to use in septic systems.
If you have a garbage disposal unit, throw in some lemon peel from time to time while it's working in order to keep it smelling fresh.
Rub lemon juice into your wooden chopping board, leave overnight and then rinse. Wood chopping boards appear to have anti-bacterial properties anyway, but the lemon will help kill off any remaining nasties and neutralize odors.
Glass and mirrors
4 tablespoons of lemon juice mixed with half a gallon of water makes an effective window cleaner
Straight lemon juice can be used as a general degreaser
2 parts olive oil or cooking oil mixed with 1 part lemon juice makes for an excellent furniture polish!
Cuts, stings and itches
A small amount of lemon juice pour onto minor wounds can help stop bleeding and disinfect the injury (it will sting a bit). Lemon juice applied to itches, poison ivy rashes and wasp stings is said to relieve discomfort.
A 50/50 mixture of lemon juice and water makes for an effective mouthwash.
The smell of fish can linger on your hands, even after scrubbing with soap - rubbing your hands with lemon juice will neutralize the smell and leave your hands smelling wonderful. It will also neutralize the small of garlic and onions on your hands.
You can find these and more fantastic tips for the home and a "Green" life by visiting http://www.greenlivingtips.com